Archive for August, 2006

Poker Champion Disappears Without A Trace

Jamie Gold the 36-year-old from Malibu won the World Series of Poker last week. By capturing first prize of $12 million among a field of more than 8,700, Gold was supposed to be enjoying his status as a nouveau multi-millionaire.

Instead, he?s getting sued, is the subject of tabloid rumors that he?s a fake, and facing tax problems.

And worse, he hasn?t yet received the money, and it?s quite possible he won?t.

When Gold (a former Hollywood agent) outplayed more than 8,700 opponents to capture the first prize, witnesses said that Gold said very little to reporters after he won the $12 million and quickly disappeared.

He hasn?t been seen since.

Within a week of the tournament, Gold has attained dubious legendary status as the poker world?s equivalent of D.B. Cooper, hijacker who leaped from an airliner with $200,000 in twenties strapped to his torso in 1971 and was never seen again ? dead or alive.

In the week since Gold disappeared, the Internet and local and national tabloids have been rife with stories of Gold stiffing professional players whom he had promised ?coaching? payments, should he win, and of misrepresenting his achievements.

?Gold, who boasts about having repped everyone from Sopranos star James Gandolfini to actress Lisa Liu, reportedly came up dry in the celebrity wrangling department,? states an article in Hollywood

The Best Revenge : 5 Million Emails

A disgruntled employee who took exception to being dismissed from his company and bombarded his former employer with five million e-mails was sentenced to a two-month curfew yesterday, in a landmark case.

David Lennon, 19, worked part-time as an accounts clerk at a branch of Domestic & General, the insurance firm, in Bedworth, Warwickshire.

When he was dismissed after just five months in 2003, Lennon used a computer program to send continuous e-mails automatically to Domestic & General?s server, which eventually collapsed, costing the company ?30,000. The e-mails, which contained a quote from the horror film The Ring, were traced to Lennon?s home in Bedworth.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty at Wimbledon Youth Court to causing an unauthorised modification to a computer, under the Computer Misuse Act. It is the first time that someone has been convicted for the offence.

In November a judge ruled that Lennon had no case to answer, pointing out that as the purpose of a company?s server was to receive e-mails, it had consented to the e-mails being sent. But the High Court overturned the decision.

The maximum sentence is five years? imprisonment.

Secondhand Comeback: 10 Things To Buy Old

Apparently too many people in the world today are wasters ? succumbing to commercialism and always buying new when what makes most sense to both our wallets and the environment is buying second-hand.

So the next time your wages start burning a hole in your pocket, think twice before you buy brand new. You?ll be doing those polar bears a favour.

Here?s the list:

1. Books
Used books are so easy to find and can be fantastically dirt-cheap.

2. DVDs and CD?s
Unless you cant wait for the latest Hollywood release and every discounted copy you find has skip-prone scratches, a good-condition disc with a low price is worth its weight in gold.

3. Toys
Toys on discount are a parents dream, as most kids prefer their friends ?used? toys and the smallest ones cant tell the difference anyway.

4. Jewelry and Carpets
Fine items like these actually increase in value, so it is no problem to buy or sell ?used? pieces.

5. Sports Equipment
Aside from shoes, mits and other body-close things, it makes sense to pick up weights, exercise balls, tennis racquets etc. Look in garage sales, newspapers, and the like.

6. Timeshares
?Used? time shares from people who want to dump it fast are very cheap and a good deal if you like the location. But do check resale values independently first.

7. Cars
Most people know that new car loses 12.2% of its value in the first year, and cars depreciate even faster, depending on demand, incentives offered and other factors. Besides, that new-car smell can now be bought in a can.

8. Software and Computer Games.
Used items of this type cost half or less what the software cost new.

9. Furniture
Take a cue from those shows on HGTV ? old furniture can be given a new lease of life, or even be an unexpected great buy.

10. Hand Tools
Non-motorized tools like good hammers, saws, wrenches etc. can last ages so garage sales are a good bet for these.

Apple Proudly Announces That Your New iPod Will be Outdated By Christmas

If you find yourself drooling at the latest iPod models everywhere and wondering if you should give in and trade in your older model, think again. In about 5 months, these slick players could very well be dinosaurs.

The Microsoft giants are hot on the heels of Apple in the digital music market, with the buzz being that their new MP3 player in the works may finally give the iPod some serious competition. With the Xbox the only product Microsoft actually makes themselves (the company licenses its technology to hardware and service creators, nurturing an ecosystem of developers), this is a major change in the company?s strategic model.

Not to be one to willingly relinquish a slice of their juicy pie, Apple is rumoured to be developing a savvy new product, the Wi-Fi-enabled iPod due to hit stores in time for the holiday season. More Apple patents are also in the works, with text-to-speech and speech-recognition capabilities that would enable the iPod to “speak” song titles and allow users to give voice navigation commands. Additionally, there’s the “real” video iPod featuring a touch-screen display, plus the long-rumored iPhone.

Aussie Wine Cheaper than Water

Looking for good wine at rock-bottom prices? Well, look no further than the land down under, where the price of wine today is actually even cheaper than water. Yes, a bottle of wine in Australia nowadays can actually be purchased at less than $2 a bottle, compared to a litre of water which sells at around $3. Good news for wine-drinkers, who can now pick up a bottle of some of Australia?s best wines at a fraction of the price, but obviously bad news for the winemakers. Places like Dan Murphy?s offer 2005 Cabernet Merlot for just AU$1.95 dollars a bottle, and six-bottle packs of Chardonnay can go for AU$11.93.

For the past three years, Australia has had massive grape harvests, resulting in billions of litres of wine sitting unsold in wine barrels across the country. Now, its easy to come by ?clearskins?, or wine producer?s excess stock in unlabeled bottles at even lower prices. Wine bargains are everywhere, and while these ?clearskins? were once known for their questionable quality, some of the top winemakers have now put this to practice , joining the fierce competition in getting their stock off the shelves. Share prices of winemaking companies have obviously tumbled, and danger is very real for many vineyards who may be put out of business.

The experts are saying however that this glut of incredible wine prices wont last. So their advice is to stock up your cellars while you can.




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